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80 Years Ago

Archives 02-26-2003






Annexation discussed at Monday meeting
Clarkrange woman injured in Main Street collision
Jones pleads to Pickett Co. shooting death


Annexation discussed at Monday meeting


Proposed expansion of city borders was among the topics before a joint meeting of the Livingston Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Among areas in consideration for annexation into the Town of Livingston are Southwood and River Trace subdivisions. A few residents of the area were in attendance to inquire about the proposal.

When asked about how the annexation would take place, Planning Commission Chairman Harold Fletcher said, "It won't all be annexed, probably, at the same time. It'll probably be annexed in pieces because of public hearings and so forth that is involved. If we did it all at one time, we probably wouldn't have a room big enough to get everybody in."

He went on to say, "The area we can annex in right now is to East McCormick Road. We can't cross that without going through a process, and we're working on that process."

The land to East McCormick Road falls into the Town of Livingston's Urban Grown Boundary, which is on record with the state. To go beyond the planned growth boundary, a town must obtain further approval, which among other regulatory measures involves receiving the blessing of the county government.

Fletcher said residents will have a chance to be heard as each area of expansion is considered for annexation.

"There will be public notice in the paper when a public hearing is held for that area, he said.

David Howard addressed the Commission asking, "Can you give us a more complete time frame when all this might go into effect, and why it has to be annexed?"

Fletcher said, "The growth of the city, as everybody knows, is growing south. It's not growing much in any other direction."

Then he further stated, "We're not talking about years, we're talking about months, probably, before we get it started."

He explained that the Planning Commission has no binding authority, saying, "This is a planning arm for the city. We do the planning, and then we take it before the Board of Aldermen and it's up to them whether it's annexed or whether it's not."

Fletcher said the planned border expansion is not a grab for tax dollars lost to the county, but rather a way of boosting the town's ability to compete for government funding.

"I know that a lot of you are aware of state and federal grant programs that are out there, Fletcher said. "A city now that's less than 5,000 population is at a big disadvantage, because you are just not eligible for a lot of grants that are out there. If you are 5,000 or above, you are. Even for getting any of the retail stores or anything like that in, that's one thing they look at whenever they're looking to expand."

Fletcher assured one questioner that a fire station would be built in the area if it is annexed, and that the station would be manned at all times, before the annexation would go into effect.

Fletcher said annexation would give a better insurance rate to those annexed in, and referred to Phil Marshall, a State Farm agent who was in the audience, as someone who could comment on that aspect.

Marshall said, "Some of the insurance companies are getting away from that ISO rating because they have to pay a fee to the ISO.

"With State Farm, the largest insurer of homes in the United States, they're no longer a member of ISO. So, they don't go on whether it's a 9 that we currently are in the county or a 7 that the city is. So, it wouldn't affect the largest carrier in the United States, which is State Farm. So, the other carriers, it will affect them, the Farm Bureau or some of those carriers.

"I don't know if that's a trend or not. They're simply going off zip code for the simple fact that if you have a windstorm come through or somebody break in your house or vandalize it or lightning has nothing to do with the fire department."

Marshall later added, "It would improve the fire service out there, no doubt, but it may not affect the insurance rates with all companies, and it will not with State Farm."

James P. Harris presented a petition to the Commission saying, "This is all the neighbors in Southwood except for Harold Fletcher.

"They're all opposed to it."

Back on the subject of how long the process would take for Southwood to be brought up for annexation, Fletcher said, "It'll be a while because of the process of extending the area that we've got to go through with, state approval, regulations. We don't know exactly how long it'll take. It'll be months."

Mayor Hosea Winningham said, "Southwood? It may be five years before we get out there."

Harris again addressed the Commission indicating the people there would fight the annexation. Harris said "By the state charter you're allowed to protest it.

Fletcher said, "You've got your rights. But when it comes to going to court, you'll lose. That's the way it always works."

A work session was scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, March 3 for the Planning Commission to discuss the planned annexation with Livingston aldermen.

In other items brought up for consideration, Jeff Hunter's request to subdivide his property in order to separate his newly built home and his car lot was approved.

Then, the board approved rezoning the part where the house is located from commercial to residential.

A zoning request from Frankie Dixon was disallowed. He wanted to put a wrecker service on Buena Vista Drive, but his deed does not allow for anything other than a residence. Cathy Parsons abstained from the vote.

Silas Terry has bought West Main Street property formerly housing Joyce's Designs and plans to put in a doctor's office. The board approved allowing the building to be used for a doctor's office and the remodeling of the building.

The Commission approved the site plan for Beverly Linder's building on the bypass to make an addition to the building, which would fill in a corner of the building to make more usable interior space.

The meeting adjourned.




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Clarkrange woman injured in Main Street collision

Stuart Parsons/OCN staff

A Ford van rests against the KFC sign after a collision Monday, Feb. 24. According to reports, Patricia Threet, 67, of Celina, was attempting to cross West Main Street into the entrance of KFC around 11:40 a.m. when her 2000 Ford Windstar crossed into the path of a 2000 Chrysler Sebring driven by Patty Lane, 57, of Clarkrange. The collision caused the airbags to deploy in Lane's car, and caused the van to slide through the grass at KFC and continue into the sign in front of the restaurant. Lane was transported to Livingston Regional Hospital. Tim Poore of Livingston Police Department investigated the incident.




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Jones pleads to Pickett Co. shooting death

By Robert Forsman, OCN Court Reporter

A Pickett County shooting death, which occurred in 1999, was resolved last week when a defendant pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Edward J. Jones, 66, entered the plea in Pickett County Criminal Court, Judge Lillie Ann Sells presiding.

Jones was charged with the shooting death of Billy Winningham, 63, of Pickett County. Winningham was found dead in his driveway in the early morning hours on July 16, 1999, according to TBI investigator Russ Winkler.

Winkler testified that Winningham was killed with a shotgun blast to the upper chest and head from approximately 75 feet away. Jones was reportedly hiding beside Winningham's residence when Winningham pulled into the driveway. When Winningham exited his vehicle, Jones shot him.

Jones reportedly confessed to the shooting after being indicted for first degree murder by the Pickett County Grand Jury on December 2, 1999.

In a subsequent statement, Jones said he yelled, "Hey, Bill! and fired when Winningham grabbed what Jones thought was a handgun from the seat and pointed it at him. Agent Winkler testified that a handgun was found next to the victim's body.

Jones said Winningham threatened to kill him 10 days before the shooting in a dispute involving Jones' estranged wife.

"I was down by the lake," Jones said, "when he pulled up and threatened to kill me."

The case against Jones, heard by a Pickett County jury prior to the plea, resulted in a mistrial.

Judge Sells said, "We began a trial several years ago, but a mistrial resulted when it was discovered jury members were allowed to phone home."

The jury was reportedly sequestered when the calls occurred.

According to the plea agreement, Jones was sentenced to six years in prison for voluntary manslaughter. Jones was also sentenced to an additional two years and a day in prison for manufacturing marijuana while out of jail on bond for the murder charge.

Agent Winkler testified that 79 marijuana plants were found on Jones' property and approximate 3 ounces of marijuana were found in his residence.

Assistant District Attorney Owen Burnett cited the victim's criminal history to explain why the prosecution agreed to the reduction from murder to manslaughter.

"The reputation of Mr. Winningham's propensity for violence," Burnett said, "would have been admitted to the defendant's state of mind. In terms of fearing Mr. Winningham, all evidence would have been admissible."

Jones was taken into custody following his plea.

Judge Sells said, "I order the defendant into custody immediately, to serve an eight-year and one-day sentence."

Jones was transported from Pickett County Courthouse to Overton County Jail, where he will be incarcerated until being transferred to a DOC prison.







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